Ryan Adams Performs “Ashes & Fire” on Jools Holland

Posted November 11th, 2011 by eric

With his latest album Ashes & Fire, Ryan Adams seems to have reconnected with much of his audience, although I’m confused as to why he had to reconnect in the first place. I don’t have much in common with those who haven’t liked anything since Heartbreaker. I don’t even really understand that attitude. I mean, yeah, he’s put out a lot of material over the past decade and, no, not everything has been a home run. But I’d rather an artist I admire put out too much than too little. Most bands take three to four years between records, which is just rubbish. Adams does as he pleases. I respect that about him. So, his internal editor may not be as choosy as some would like, but I’ll take the bad with the good. And, yes, Ashes & Fire is a great record. I don’t view it so much as a return to form as much as a logical progression. If you’re comparing it only to Heartbreaker, it’s a much cleaner album. It showcases Adams’ pristine voice and songwriting chops, where Hearbreaker was more of the moment- a snapshot of Adams’ burgeoning potential. Haphazard and loose. But on Ashes & Fire Adams’ vocals have never sounded so good. He’s at the top of his game vocally. And this performance on Jools Holland just hammers that point home.

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